Saturday, July 09, 2005

War of the Worlds

I was going to see Fantastic Four, but since all the reviews were mediocre, I decided to see War of the Worlds instead. I read this classic sci-fi novel years ago, and really only remember how it ended.

Earth is under attack by aliens that built and buried robotic machines before our civilization existed. These robots are invulnerable, because they have a force field around them that prevents injury. The only way one is taken down is when Ray (Tom Cruise) is almost eaten, and manages to deposit some gernades and get pulled to safety.

For days, the machines kill everything with their laser beams. Eventually, they get sick and die - yes, in the novel and movie, it is common microbes that kill the invaders.

My only issue with this is the plot hole, which to be fair exists in the novel - we have a race of advanced beings smart enough to build robots, lasers, force fields, yet stupid enough not to realize there are microbes on earth? Dumb enough to not filter their air supply?? Oh well, good for us. With all the destruction in the movie, there would be famine and plague which might finish the job they started. Heck, if they could die from our microbes, maybe they brought some along with them that finish us off!

Overall, I did enjoy the movie. I think it portrayed mass evacuations, panic in the streets, and the chaos and breakdown of civilization pretty well. Ray and his family are pulled from their car by an angry mob, and soon afterwards, thousands stampede trying to board a ferry. Another great survival scene is where Ray kills a man they've been hiding with - the other man panics and Ray decides that he's a risk and will call attention to them. This scene is all implied - Ray enters a room and closes the door, and then exits a few minutes later.

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